The initial objective of networking in the Mediterranean Animal Production was to improve consultation and dialogue around the mutual understanding of the challenges of researchers in the region. The EAAP Mediterranean Working Group has been formed under this context with the cooperation of EAAP, FAO and CIHEAM.


The Mediterranean WG is dealing with scientific and development issues related to animal production in the Mediterranean basin. Its aim is to encourage collaboration between scientific communities and technical sectors from the Mediterranean countries, discuss the Mediterranean livestock issues under a broad perspective, in order to formulate new ideas for research and development programs in the region and to increase the attractiveness of EAAP for researchers on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea.


One of the activities of the Mediterranean Work Group is the organization of a Mediterranean symposium held periodically in a selected Mediterranean location. It is a major event where common problems and historic cases of the area are discussed with involvement of the scientists and stakeholders of the region. The Proceedings of the meetings are published within the EAAP Scientific Series.

Other activities

One of the aims of the Mediterranean WG is to enhance collaboration in research and education within countries of the Mediterranean basin. Therefore, the WG participates both in educational programs and other scientific meetings held by other networks in the area.


Joint Seminar of the Subnetworks on Nutrition and on Production Systems of the FAO-CIHEAM Network for Research and Development in Sheep and Goats, 2015/06/16-18, Montpellier (France) .

Napoléone M. (ed.), Ben Salem H. (ed.), Boutonnet J.P. (ed.), López-Francos A. (ed.), Gabiña D. (ed.). Zaragoza : CIHEAM, 2016. 705 p. (Options Méditerranéennes : Série A. Séminaires Méditerranéens; n. 115).


Joint Meeting of the Mountain Pastures, Mediterranean Forage Resources (FAO/ESCORENA –CIHEAM) and Mountain Cheese Networks .Clermont-Ferrand (France), 24-26 June 2013. “Forage resources and ecosystem services provided by Mountain and Mediterranean grasslands and rangelands”,

“Environmental Assessment of Livestock Production Systems”. Advanced course IAMZ-CIHEAM, EU–FP7 RedNEx, MedWG EAAP, CITA, INIA. Zaragoza (Spain), 15-20 April 2013. Coordination of the course.

17th Meeting of the FAO-CIHEAM Mountain Pastures Network “Pastoralism and ecosystem conservation”, Trivero (Italia), 5-7 June 2013. Participation in Scientific Committee

8th International Seminar of the FAO-CIHEAM Network on Sheep and Goats Sub-Network on Production Systems “Technology creation and transfer in small ruminants: roles of research, development services and farmer associations”. Tánger (Morocco) 11-13 June 2013. Participation in Scientific Committee


16th Meeting of the FAO-CIEHAM Mountain Pastures Network “Contribution of the mountain pastures to European agriculture and environment”, Kraków (Polonia), 25-27 May 2011. Participation in Scientific Committee


7th International Seminar FAO-CIHEAM Network on Sheep and Goats, Sub-Network on Production Systems “Economic, social and environmental sustainability in sheep and goat production systems”. Zaragoza, 10-12 November 2010. Participation in Scientific Committee

Future plans

The MWG work  is based on the voluntary engagement of its members and has  contacts inh all Mediterranean countries. In the previous year  the WG has mainly focused to the organization of the Mediterranean Symposiums and the relevant publications. Currently the WG is discussing its future orientations under the current environment (in the research domain and the livestock sector).

The key elements of this discussion are:

  • Enhance the WG activity and involvement
    WG aims to improve the impact of the WG in the area, improve the collaboration between researchers and institutes within the region, using the opportunities of specific research calls oriented for projects in the Mediterranean region (previously ARIMNET and ARIMNET2,  currently the  PRIMA – Partnership on Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area, INTERREG Calls). Sustain the increased involvement of all Countries (including Non-European Mediterranean)
  • Improve communication and cooperation
    The WG will make efforts  to promote and valorize the work done and increase efforts to have a more active work on connecting research with farmers, their associations and other stakeholders and promote the communication and cooperation in the region.

Sessions during the last EAAP meetings

The Mediterranean WG works in close collaboration with the EAAP scientific commissions, producing workshops and sessions held during the EAAP annual meetings, where Mediterranean issues are brought forward.

2018, 69th EAAP meeting, Dubrovnik (Croatia), 27-30 August

Session 65: “Practices and prospects for adapting to a challenging Mediterranean environment. (MWG, S+G; WG)

Chairs: Christina Ligda / Georgia Hadjipavlou

Panel discussion Moderator: F. Casabianca

The topics addressed were: the current challenges and developments in breeding goals in sheep and goat breeding programs, including conservation aspects, breeding practices and GXE management in dairy sheep, adaptation to climate change and thermal tolerance, and sustainability aspects, including crop – livestock systems dynamics. A panel discussion organized at the end of the session to debate on: i) the common challenges and stakes in the region, and ii) the means to enhance cooperation, focusing on the role of research and scientific community.

Sessions for the next EAAP meeting

2020, 71st EAAP meeting, Porto (Portugal), 31 August – 3 September

Session 4: Combining the diversity of resources and farming practices to ensure resilience at different scales

Jointly with AnGR WG and LFS Study Commissions

Chairs: Georgia Hadjipavlou, Luis Telo da Gama, Enrico Sturaro, Vincent Thenard

A full-day symposium with two separate sessions (Diversity of animal genetic resources for resilient farming systems (G, WG-AnGR / MWG) / Management of resources’ diversity to ensure resilience (LFS / MWG)) will focus on the challenges and drivers of change that the livestock sector is facing in the Mediterranean and less-favoured  areas. Presenting authors will deal with issues related with the diversity of animal genetic resources (local breeds, crossbreds etc.), their capacities to express a good balance between production, reproduction, health performance, and/or to valorize scarce and diverse feed resources and overcome other environmental challenges. Diversity can enforce the sustainability of the livestock farming systems in the face of climatic, social and economic changes. That concerns a wide diversity of resources (natural, technical, social, and economics) including the farming practices. The two sessions will be connected through a panel discussion at the end of the last session.


Christina Ligda
HAO – Thessaloniki (Greece)

Georgia Hadjipavlou
ARI – Nicosia (Lefkosia, Cyprus)

Francois Casabianca
INRA – Corte (France)

Pauline Aad
Notre Dame University – Louaise (Lebanon)

Isabel Casasus
CITA Aragon – Zaragoza (Spain)

Mnaouer Djemali
INAT – Tunis (Tunisia)

Abdelilah Araba
IAV Hassan II – Rabat (Morocco)

Adel Aboul-Naga
APRI/ARC (Egypt)

Slaven Zjalic
University Zadar – Zadar (Croatia)

Ilan Halachmi
Agricultural Research Organization – Rishon LeZion (Israel)

Antonello Carta
AGRIS-Sardegna (Italy)